Encapsulating Complexity — Namur Main Session Sets Course
“The efficient, condition-based maintenance of PAT systems is very complex and is based on intelligent condition monitoring,” said Grümpel. The prerequisite for this is the transmission of measured values, status signals and vital data from the PAT systems to the maintenance personnel. This information must reach its destination as easily as possible via a second channel (NOA). However, the necessary technological prerequisites are not yet in place — both for the PAT devices and in the automation pyramid. “We are still working on interfaces and system boundaries,” stated Schünemann, referring to the experience gained at the daily working level.
NOA on Its Way Into Practice
It is therefore not surprising that the concept of Namur Open Architecture (NOA) has met with broad and great interest among all automation experts since its first presentation at the 2016 Annual General Meeting. For example, the NOA test facility was put into operation by IGR/Bilfinger at German Industry park Frankfurt/Höchst together with all the major suppliers. BASF employee Jan de Caigny found the idea of NOA extremely promising in his supplementary lecture, but still pointed out a few unfinished fields of work. For example, the question arises how NOA can be converted into products and when a product or a supplier solution is NOA-compliant. However, four use cases in the NOA test facility already have shown positive developments, such as the monitoring of pumps or the online analysis of a PAT system.
Michael Maiwald, from the Berlin Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), encouraged in his lecture to think more holistically about the digitalization of the chemical process industries on the basis of smart sensors, actuators and communication. “In Germany, we have a close network between the chemical process industry and manufacturers, which is an enormous locational advantage,” Maiwald said.
The requirements for smart sensors have already been defined in the Roadmap 2015. Maiwald used a few examples to show how digitization has also made things easier. Today, OPC UA is increasingly available at the device and field level. The issue of traceability and compliance can also be handled much more easily digitally than in the past. Technological tools such as ad hoc networking, edge computing, FPGAs or virtual machines have long since become reality. This makes modular orchestration with user-defined functionality possible. This in turn gives smart sensors, actuators and communication a completely new perspective. Finally, Maiwald presented a vision that only intelligent field devices may remain. Daring vision or provocative demand? Maiwald: “Someone still has to decide who will orchestrate the networked devices”.
The afternoon of the first Namur day traditionally belongs to the numerous workshops on the topics of the working groups and topics such as FDI, mobile devices in Ex environments, security and SIS, Namur standard PID controllers or Advanced Instrumentation Diagnostics. Whether 5G in the process industry, MTP, digital twin, FDI at your fingertips or the founding of the new Agumented Reality working group — the topics of end users are manifold and increasingly complex.
A highlight in the afternoon: While the presentations took place live on the NOA system in the German Technology Park Frankfurt/Höchst, where devices were replaced, the status of the development work on the MTP technology could follow directly on the demo system. Conclusion of the first Namur day: Proof given, it works.
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